Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 2015-4-1}

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griffon8
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by griffon8 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:09 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Hm… I'd suggest "heart, and as soon as it's gone, it's game over" or "heart and, as soon as it's gone, it's game over". I'm not sure, though.
The comme before "and" is mandatory. The ones around "as soon as it's gone" are optional, but I'd leave them out or use dashes instead... probably leave them out.
I'm going to have to disagree that the comma before the 'and' is mandatory.

Without the phrase 'as soon as it's gone', the sentence reads:
You get one piece-of-garbage heart and it’s game over.
A comma before 'and' does not improve the sentence, so it shouldn't be there in the first place. I'll accept that commas may be used around the missing phrase, but as you pointed out they aren't required. If a comma is needed to improve readability, I have no problem with it. Otherwise, I like to excise them from the text. Except for the Oxford comma; that I approve of.
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Reese8 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:42 am

Ah, thank you.
griffon8 wrote:Yeah, it's worse. What's better than a cliffhanger? And you'll put up with the units because it's not in the story.

---

If I had managed to be the first one to respond after this chapter was posted, I would have said something like:

"That's all folks. Iwanako dies after being run into by Emi. Because the main difference between Iwanako and Hisao is how frail she is. Leaty, I look forward to helping you with your next story."
:)
Bad Apple wrote:Another thing that's gone unsaid so far—day three, new student taken away on a stretcher? Rumor mill, go. Does this mean Iwanako's condition will be more publicly scrutinized than Hisao's ever was?
Hm, interesting idea.
Bad Apple wrote:So, Iwanako has intricate knowledge of the workings of another nation's department of defense?
Perhaps it's all those American movies she watched?

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:18 pm

griffon8 wrote:I'm going to have to disagree that the comma before the 'and' is mandatory.

Without the phrase 'as soon as it's gone', the sentence reads:
You get one piece-of-garbage heart and it’s game over.
A comma before 'and' does not improve the sentence, so it shouldn't be there in the first place. I'll accept that commas may be used around the missing phrase, but as you pointed out they aren't required. If a comma is needed to improve readability, I have no problem with it. Otherwise, I like to excise them from the text. Except for the Oxford comma; that I approve of.
It's not a matter of the comma improving the sentence or not.
When you have two independent clauses, they are seperated by a comma. "It's game over" is an independent clause.

English uses a ridiculously low amount of commas to structure its sentences (at least compared to my native German) but as far as I know this one has not been stricken from the grammar books (yet)

And to immediately contradict myself: This is the first time I've ever hear of the serial comma. This has to be tho only instance where English uses a comma and German doesn't... Luckily there seem to be differing views on whether or not to use serial commas, so I'll choose to continue not to do so.
Does this mean Iwanako's condition will be more publicly scrutinized than Hisao's ever was?
Well, following this incident, they'll probably skip "scrutiny" and go straight to "public knowledge"
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Helbereth » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:35 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Does this mean Iwanako's condition will be more publicly scrutinized than Hisao's ever was?
Well, following this incident, they'll probably skip "scrutiny" and go straight to "public knowledge"
I'll throw my two cents in and say Mirage probably has a point here. The scene where Hisao gets gored by Emi plays out where he just gets the wind knocked out of him, and nobody seems the wiser. Iwanako, however, gets knocked to the ground and carted away on a stretcher. It would take a giant leap of stupidity for the witnesses to conclude there wasn't an underlying reason for her intense reaction. Perhaps it won't immediately scream 'heart condition', but it's not much of a logical leap to assume that may be the case.

I suspect more than a few of her classmates will guard their reactions when Iwanako returns.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Bad Apple » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:22 pm

I can't believe you guys are arguing about a single comma. Literally. There is no singular accepted use for the serial comma; it varies between professions and dialects. A simple Internet search confirms that. This isn't a government document or a journalistic article, it's fanfiction. Writing style manual regulations fanfictions do not have. And as it stands, literature tends to be formatted for readability and authorial preference, so it's not your decision. I was going to leave it be, but come on now, no cluttering the thread with this silliness... Use PMs if it's that important.

Anyway.
Only thing it takes is watching one foreign spy thriller...
Perhaps it's all those American movies she watched?
Hey, good catch. Now I wonder which Hollywood blockbuster has, hypothetically, blessed Iwanako's mind with such trivia... :P Hell, she probably has cryptoamnesia and doesn't even remember the exact source from the continual dross she watched in the hospital.

I suspect more than a few of her classmates will guard their reactions when Iwanako returns.
Agreed. Elephant in the living room seems like the expected thing to do. Which leads to...
Well, following this incident, they'll probably skip "scrutiny" and go straight to "public knowledge"
I was going to say it like that, but I didn't want to jump the gun.
I'll throw my two cents in and say Mirage probably has a point here. The scene where Hisao gets gored by Emi plays out where he just gets the wind knocked out of him, and nobody seems the wiser. Iwanako, however, gets knocked to the ground and carted away on a stretcher. It would take a giant leap of stupidity for the witnesses to conclude there wasn't an underlying reason for her intense reaction. Perhaps it won't immediately scream 'heart condition', but it's not much of a logical leap to assume that may be the case.
"Heart condition" might be one of the rumors, but it's not like whole school saw the Emicrash first-hand. Being a student at a school for the disabled and staffed with the medical profession does not make the students instant medical experts either, it might give them an edge over the general population if anything. We also don't know how many people were in the hall, and if you've ever played that human telephone game, you know how the rumor mill distorts facts with tantalizing speculation.

Besides, she could just be anemic or have brittle bones, who knows? I don't feel like entering the mind of a high school girl and thinking of something scandalous enough. "Heart condition" is just so blase, you know?

At least now I know how Rin's gonna meet Iwanako...

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Helbereth » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:55 pm

Only thing it takes is watching one foreign spy thriller...
Perhaps it's all those American movies she watched?
Hey, good catch. Now I wonder which Hollywood blockbuster has, hypothetically, blessed Iwanako's mind with such trivia... :P Hell, she probably has cryptoamnesia and doesn't even remember the exact source from the continual dross she watched in the hospital.
I think a lot of them may have forgotten that this version of Iwanako (not that there are a lot of them out there) spent all her time in the hospital watching movies and such, rather than reading. Four months is a long time to spend cooped up in a hospital room, and if we assume she spent as much time watching movies as Hisao spent reading (he went through the entire hospital library), she likely viewed a couple hundred films. Mathematically she could have watched 500+ 90-minute movies, even if we subtract time for sleep, check-ups, and time spent away from her bed.
Oh God, I used a serial comma! I'm going to be lynched!

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Mader Levap » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:32 am

Well, it is so-so. I am not hot for yuri, so I hope this story have something to stand on its own beside that. It certainly have potential.
And about Emi... I went like "damn, another canon event? I never liked those in fanfi- what".

Well, at least rest of canon events are right out of window with this little accident.
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Leaty » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:36 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:Iwanako is a full foot shorter than Hisao?
No, I effed up. Iwanako is 153 cm tall. I've known that since probably chapter three of this fic, but (absurdly) I forgot the American equivalent for that. She's a hair over five feet. Also for some reason I got it in my head that Lilly was almost six feet tall, because I forgot to look it up, and since my position is that Hisao is exactly the same height as Lilly, I somehow wound up with a measurement where Hisao towers over Hanako.

So, for posterity's sake, let me restate: Iwanako = 151 cm, Hisao = 171 cm, Momomi = 169 cm.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Very nice scene with Hanako. Usually I'd count being able to handle a situation like this without complications as a sign for "Mary Sue", but you managed to make it believable.
I was very concerned about potential Mary Sue implications during that interaction, so I'm glad it worked out the way I wanted it to. I ultimately decided there was no reason it couldn't play out like that for somebody like Iwanako because Naomi managed to get her onto the newspaper club, and she's way more obstreperous and frightening than Iwanako is.
Reese8 wrote:"Holy mother of pearl, really?"
Hm, don't think that I've heard that one before.
I knew an officer's wife who used to say that. She was pretty adorable. Iwanako doesn't use profanity (well, other than "crap" and "hell" and maybe one or two "damns") because she thinks it's low-class.
Reese8 wrote:Oh, right, Iwanako's not met Emi yet, has she? Well, until now.
I didn't want to introduce Emi any earlier than her appearance in canon. In fact, without this encounter occurring, Iwanako wouldn't have met Emi or Rin at all, since the Nurse never would have arranged for Iwanako to go running with Emi (he sets up that whole thing in response to Hisao not going to the track or pool, and Iwanako went to the pool yesterday. The lifeguard commented to him about it later, so he is aware of that.)
griffon8 wrote:I think I can speak with confidence that your and Mirage's opinion of how Hanako's scene was done will be taken as extremely high praise.
It was indeed.
Bad Apple wrote:Am I a terrible person for laughing at this line? If so, so be it.
Heavens, no. Taro exists for us to laugh at him.
Bad Apple wrote:OhgodyesthisisthechapterI'vebeenwaitingfor
Yeah, see, this is why I stressed so much about this chapter! Image People take Hanako business mad serious; that's why Sisterhood is almost always bumped to the front page despite having been finished for a long time now. Nobody is going to yell at me for my characterization of Aoi and Keiko, but if you're perceived to have screwed up Hanako... well, two cases in point: Mendacium, Misstep. I refuse to be sent to the stockades for Hanako abuse.
Bad Apple wrote:Hmm, I find the wording here a bit odd though. You've mentioned you like to make oblique references to canon, and this was one such intentional reference, right? Regardless, I might have forgotten a fine detail from a previous scene, so correct me if I'm wrong, but Iwanako couldn't possibly know about Hanako's "I'vegottagodosomething!" syndrome yet, could she? If so, it almost makes Iwanako look psychic, metafictional conundrums aside.
Hehe, excellent catch! You're actually on to something here, but Iwanako's "prescience" here is actually completely intentional. Remember, Iwanako is highly socially aware (one of the few traits she shares with her mother,) and she's also very logical, as we saw when she managed to get Momomi to spill the beans about the Student Council. Iwanako has never actually noticed Hanako leaving the classroom, only coming in. So why does she think Hanako is going to run away? Well, keep in mind that Iwanako said she had stage fright when she was walking up to Hanako, and even, for a moment, worried Hanako was going to hurt her. Now remember what Iwanako said the first time she ever noticed Hanako: "like looking into a very skittish mirror."

So, after seeing Hanako's scars, why does she think Hanako is going to run away? Well, it's because running away is what she herself would do, when she pictures herself being a bit more scared than she already is. She then projects that onto Hanako, and that course of action briefly seems so reasonable that it only exacerbates her anxiety.
Bad Apple wrote:I must say though, that cliffhanger felt a little... anticlimatic? Iwanako thinks some things, goes like, "Welp, that's all folks!" then blacks out. I can't describe it, it just intuitively feels off to me, and it could just be me. Unless she turned to a nihilistic sort of mood on her 'impending' death, understandable given the way fate's playing games with her. It also just occurred to me that this is a similar attitude Hisao had in The Deep End, if that makes sense.
Yeah, you're right, for three reasons: 1) Short Sharp Shock is about 760 words long, and the Emi portion of this chapter is only about 470, so it comes off as being significantly shorter, just in comparison, 2) Not So Cute isn't meant to be a load-bearing cliffhanger, like "Who Shot Mr. Burns," where you wait a whole season before finding out it was Maggie, but more of a Goosebumps cliffhanger where you turn the page and the monster was a pile of dirty laundry, and 3) I genuinely didn't do a great job here in building up the sense of dread Iwanako feels as she realizes she's going to die.

And let's not forget here that in one of the endings of the GRIMDARK Hanako route as it was originally conceived, Hisao dies just because Hanako shoves him. Iwanako has every reason to believe that Emi just killed her (and possibly given her a concussion, just to add insult injury to injury) and now it's just a matter of time. Where I think the ending needs more work is that there's too quick a jump from denial to acceptance. It comes off as a little rushed, probably because I was running out of steam by that point. I think I'll toy with it a little bit more.

The similarities to The Deep End were intentional, by the way, so I'm glad somebody caught them. Remember, what was the name of the fourth chapter of this story?
Bad Apple wrote:It's a bit odd that the collision still happens the exact same way "in spite of a nail" (I vaguely remember something several pages ago about a student desk), but I'm not the Spacetime Police or anything so I'm totally okay with that.
Well, there's not really any meaningful reason why anything in Emi's schedule would be different just because Iwanako's here and not Hisao. They haven't met yet and they're not even in the same class. There's no reason why Emi isn't still going to go running down that hallway on Wednesday. MTB isn't a "Stations of the Canon" fic like Sisterhood, but it is a Divergence fic and that means there's certain things I can't change.

That being said, is Iwanako being in exactly Hisao's position at that exact moment a bit contrived? Probably, yes, but in a way, that's what makes it more of a surprise; I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping events in MTB from duplicating events in canon, so even though the reader knows they're coming right up on the moment that Emi Meets Cute, they think I'm going to find a way around it... And then it not only happens, it happens catastrophically. It was always going to happen this way, because this was one of the encounters that made me want to write this fic in the first place.
Bad Apple wrote:So, Iwanako has intricate knowledge of the workings of another nation's department of defense? Damn, girl is cosmopolitan. :P
You joke, but it's actually true. In addition to living in the heart of Tokyo, Iwanako's been on family vacations to America, France, and Denmark. She's more than a little spoiled. Hisao had her on a pedestal for the entirety of the time he knew her, so he never got a chance to realize this.

As far as Threat Conditions are concerned, let's also not forget that the United States has more than a few military bases on Japan, and they all still use the THREATCON (now FPCON) system. That said, Iwanako probably learned the phrase from movies.
Dumanios wrote:I'm definitely sensing some Iwahanako going on
Egads, can we not portmanteau their names for that hypothetical pairing? Personally, I like "Stoneflower" for Iwanako/Hanako, based on the first characters of their names. Then, Iwanako/Lilly could be, err... "Tea Party." Iwanako/Rin could be "Caged Art." I don't know, something like that, anyway.
Bad Apple wrote:We also don't know how many people were in the hall
I'll go ahead and confirm here that Molly and Miki both witnessed the entire thing (it was Miki who actually went to go get the nurse.) I'll leave the rest to your imaginations for now, but keep in mind that Molly is more than a bit of a gossip.
Mader Levap wrote:I am not hot for yuri, so I hope this story have something to stand on its own beside that.
You'll notice that I don't advertise this story as a Yuri fic. MTB's summary blurb on Fanfiction.net doesn't mention Yuri, either, and it's listed as "Drama/Romance." I'm female, and I write yuri because that is what is most relevant to my life, but I'm not trying to write lemon, here (do people still use the word 'lemon'? I'm showing my age.) If you get turned on by reading my writing, feel free to thank me for it, but I'm not proactively trying to cream anyone's twinkie. If I was, we wouldn't be eight chapters in without even one iota of lesbian content.

Female/female romance is every bit as interesting on its own merits as heterosexual or gay romance; I keep telling people to read my favorite book, Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt, as proof of this, but of course nobody ever does. (Incidentally, the vast majority of explicit lesbian romance novels I encounter are, to my chagrin, Xena/Gabrielle fanfics with the serial numbers filed off and the setting changed.)
griffon8 wrote:If I had managed to be the first one to respond after this chapter was posted, I would have said something like:

"That's all folks. Iwanako dies after being run into by Emi. Because the main difference between Iwanako and Hisao is how frail she is. Leaty, I look forward to helping you with your next story."
What are you talking about? Didn't you read the foreshadowing in chapter six?
Making her sad shouldn’t be the only reason I would feel guilty if I died the day after tomorrow.
Iwanako is dead. The rest of the fic is about Emi suffering from crippling amounts of guilt and seeking comfort in Lilly's arms. Didn't you read that outline I sent you? Image

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Bad Apple » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:50 am

Helbereth wrote: I think a lot of them may have forgotten that this version of Iwanako (not that there are a lot of them out there) spent all her time in the hospital watching movies and such, rather than reading. Four months is a long time to spend cooped up in a hospital room, and if we assume she spent as much time watching movies as Hisao spent reading (he went through the entire hospital library), she likely viewed a couple hundred films. Mathematically she could have watched 500+ 90-minute movies, even if we subtract time for sleep, check-ups, and time spent away from her bed.
Oh God, I used a serial comma! I'm going to be lynched!
Leaty wrote: Short Sharp Shock is about 760 words long, and the Emi portion of this chapter is only about 470,
Daaamn. That's some meticulous calculus for occult minutia right there. This is why I don't write fanfics. I've always been wary about fucking up someone else's stuff.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Very nice scene with Hanako. Usually I'd count being able to handle a situation like this without complications as a sign for "Mary Sue", but you managed to make it believable.
I was very concerned about potential Mary Sue implications during that interaction, so I'm glad it worked out the way I wanted it to.
Honestly, "Mary Sue" has never entered my mind throughout this fic, it just felt completely natural that Hanako would take to Iwanako's advances, meek and refined as they were. Surprising? Yes, at first, but natural nonetheless. The act was a scalpel compared to Hisao's sledgehammer, to say the least.
Where I think the ending needs more work is that there's too quick a jump from denial to acceptance. It comes off as a little rushed, probably because I was running out of steam by that point. I think I'll toy with it a little bit more.
Iwanako was indeed mirroring Hisao in The Deep End, but then again, Iwanako was fully awake and sober of her predicament, while Hisao had the final luxury of being utterly shitfaced just before his body splattered into corned beef.
The similarities to The Deep End were intentional, by the way, so I'm glad somebody caught them. Remember, what was the name of the fourth chapter of this story?
Yay.

The Shallow End, but no one died there. Well, besides possibly Iwanako's libido (and dignity).
Yeah, see, this is why I stressed so much about this chapter! Image People take Hanako business mad serious; that's why Sisterhood is almost always bumped to the front page despite having been finished for a long time now. Nobody is going to yell at me for my characterization of Aoi and Keiko, but if you're perceived to have screwed up Hanako... well, two cases in point: Mendacium, Misstep. I refuse to be sent to the stockades for Hanako abuse.
Aoi and Keiko
Who? :P

To my non-credit, I've yet to read Sisterhood, but I am somewhat familiar with the call for torches and pitchforks elsewhere. As for abuse, I am personally not squeamish about throwing characters through the grinder (that's what authors do) but at the same time I understand Katawa Shoujo is relatively lighthearted (I should probably stop using that word in KS discussions...) so I also understand the uneasiness towards more grimdark KS stories even if my personal threshold is beyond the ordinary. I'd be more concerned with plausibility and contrivances.

More to the point. I can't speak for the Hanabros, but the so-called "Diet Hanako" meeting Hanako has met and exceeded my expectations, so it's all good, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Hehe, excellent catch! You're actually on to something here, but Iwanako's "prescience" here is actually completely intentional. Remember, Iwanako is highly socially aware (one of the few traits she shares with her mother,) and she's also very logical, as we saw when she managed to get Momomi to spill the beans about the Student Council. Iwanako has never actually noticed Hanako leaving the classroom, only coming in. So why does she think Hanako is going to run away? Well, keep in mind that Iwanako said she had stage fright when she was walking up to Hanako, and even, for a moment, worried Hanako was going to hurt her. Now remember what Iwanako said the first time she ever noticed Hanako: "like looking into a very skittish mirror."

So, after seeing Hanako's scars, why does she think Hanako is going to run away? Well, it's because running away is what she herself would do, when she pictures herself being a bit more scared than she already is. She then projects that onto Hanako, and that course of action briefly seems so reasonable that it only exacerbates her anxiety.
So... it's like Inception right? Wowee, my head hurts now.

Ha, just kidding. As Iwanako's social finesse has been readily apparent for a while, I thought it was something to that effect, but I figured I should point it out. And I also certainly didn't expect such a fully thought-out answer. Phew!
I didn't want to introduce Emi any earlier than her appearance in canon. In fact, without this encounter occurring, Iwanako wouldn't have met Emi or Rin at all, since the Nurse never would have arranged for Iwanako to go running with Emi (he sets up that whole thing in response to Hisao not going to the track or pool, and Iwanako went to the pool yesterday. The lifeguard commented to him about it later, so he is aware of that.)
Well, there's not really any meaningful reason why anything in Emi's schedule would be different just because Iwanako's here and not Hisao. They haven't met yet and they're not even in the same class. There's no reason why Emi isn't still going to go running down that hallway on Wednesday. MTB isn't a "Stations of the Canon" fic like Sisterhood, but it is a Divergence fic and that means there's certain things I can't change.
Oh, oops, I didn't even think of that. My mistake.

In my mind, that justifies the Emisuffix being the same. It just makes for a good story too. How else would they meet, over lunch? Snore.
That being said, is Iwanako being in exactly Hisao's position at that exact moment a bit contrived? Probably, yes, but in a way, that's what makes it more of a surprise; I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping events in MTB from duplicating events in canon, so even though the reader knows they're coming right up on the moment that Emi Meets Cute, they think I'm going to find a way around it... And then it not only happens, it happens catastrophically. It was always going to happen this way, because this was one of the encounters that made me want to write this fic in the first place.
Yeah, Iwanako just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, just like Hisao. It seems you the Fates are out for her blood, then. :P
As far as Threat Conditions are concerned, let's also not forget that the United States has more than a few military bases on Japan, and they all still use the THREATCON (now FPCON) system. That said, Iwanako probably learned the phrase from movies.
This topic is just a trap set up for one sole purpose, a trap eagerly awaiting with bait no one has been willing to take.

The answer is simple, really, but no one wants to say it.

I have waited patiently, but no one has made the obvious connection yet.

No one wants to open up this can of worms.

I guess it'll have to be me who breaks the ice.

Is it possible that Iwanako knows because she is a feminist spy?
Iwanako is dead. The rest of the fic is about Emi suffering from crippling amounts of guilt and seeking comfort in Lilly's arms.
Somebody out there's gonna take this and run with it...
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Leaty » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:28 am

Bad Apple wrote:The Shallow End, but no one died there. Well, besides possibly Iwanako's libido (and dignity).
Yes, but The Shallow End was the beginning of Iwanako's stay at Yamaku. So... what's on the other side?

On a more serious note, I decided to take a crack at it and add some Image to the Emi portion of Scene Eight, to address some pacing issues I felt were potentially hurting the impact of the scene. I haven't added them to the chapter yet, but I'm seriously considering it. For anybody interested, this is what I'm thinking of switching over to:
Something hard and fast collides with my sternum, knocking me to the ground with the force of a pneumatic drill. It overruns me completely, and everything goes black as the back of my head collides with the linoleum, and my ears begin to ring like cathedral bells. My entire body sings with pain—

“Aw man, I— Oh, oh crap. Are you all right? Oh my god…”

There’s a gentle sensation of someone else’s hair tickling my cheeks… strawberries? I open my eyes to an unfamiliar face leaning over me. Urgh… Where am I, again? My head…

“Shit! I’m so, so sorry…”

“Ibarazaki, what the hell?!

The stranger turns away from me. “She just came out of nowhere—I didn’t—” She turns back to me. “You’re okay, right? I… do you need me to get the nurse?”

I try to answer her, but as I shift to speak I feel a heaviness in my chest… It’s a sharp, sucking pain… I feel as if there’s something I’m forgetting, but I just can’t… I just can’t get it back…

thumpthump

There’s a pounding under my sternum, almost like getting hit from the opposite side, but I’m on the floor, now. My jaw hurts, my neck hurts… I can’t seem to breathe right… It reminds me of…

…No. No please no. Please stop… Please… Just calm down… Calm down calm down calm down, please…

“Oh my god. I’ll get him, Emi…”

Huge, glistening green eyes hover above me, glistening further as I watch them. “I…” she begins, “everything’s going to be okay, I—Do you need water? Can you talk?”

I manage to shake my head, though I stop almost immediately when I realize how much the movement hurts…

If I believe it strongly enough, it has to go away. It has to. It has to. I… I did my best. I believed in this. I got a makeover. I made friends. I applied myself. I swam in the pool. I was going to go to the Festival… This was supposed to be my second chance. I’m supposed to get my second chance… This wouldn’t happen to me now. It wouldn’t. It makes no sense.

Just focus… Just…

thumpthumpthumpthump

No! WHY? Why is this happening?! God, it really is. It’s really happening…

…This is it, isn’t it? This is all I get… Four months in the hospital, three days in school… and my life is over because this idiot can’t watch where she’s going. I never should have thought I was safe… It really is that quick, that effortless. You get one piece-of-garbage heart, and as soon as it’s gone… that’s it, game over. You don’t even get to make your own terms. I can’t believe this…

The knot in my chest is tightening… I can still feel sensation in my fingertips, but it’s just a matter of time. I remember how this goes.

“No no no… Stay with me, okay? The Nurse is coming, you’re gonna be fine…”

You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Face it, we’re both screwed. Who are you, even? I guess I’ll never even know. I’ll never know anything.

I can feel the vibrations in the floor as various pairs of feet stomp their way around me. Worried conversations erupt along all sides of me, filling the world with noise. I try to pick out individual voices, but it’s impossible. What does it matter anymore, anyway? There’s nothing I can do. I’m only here for a little while longer. And then… then what? Then nothing. Then whatever.

…Hands. Hands behind my head, hands under my back, hands under my feet… I’m being lifted onto something… A board of some kind? A stretcher. I guess the cavalry rode in…

The throbbing in my chest intensifies. It’s getting harder and harder to stay aware of my surroundings… I don’t even need to be aware, I’m just going to be dragged to a hospital so I can die as pathetically as possible.

Mother, I’m sorry. I never wanted it to be this way. I tried to make this work, I really, really did. I never wanted to make you sad, not like this. I didn’t want to leave so far away from you… I never wanted to leave without saying goodbye. This isn’t my fault.

But… I just can’t hold on any longer…

Damn it…
I'm curious to hear what people think. Better? Worse? Better, but doesn't do a good job of rectifying the problems present in the original ending?

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:29 am

Leaty wrote:obstreperous
Yay! I learned a new word.
Bad Apple wrote:
Mirage wrote:Usually I'd count being able to handle a situation like this without complications as a sign for "Mary Sue", but you managed to make it believable.
Honestly, "Mary Sue" has never entered my mind throughout this fic, it just felt completely natural that Hanako would take to Iwanako's advances, meek and refined as they were.
The reason for my apprehension was probably that I've read scenes like that done wrong so often. The OC would just smile winningly at Hanako, and she'd be instantly in love with him. The OC would just magically know the exact words to say to put her at ease, and they'd spend that first meeting in the library talking about their favourite books for hours...
Showing exactly how Iwanako arrived at her conclusions and reacted accordingly went a long way in mitigating that.
I'm not sure I would call her socializing with Hanako so far "advances" though...
Iwanako is dead. The rest of the fic is about Emi suffering from crippling amounts of guilt and seeking comfort in Lilly's arms.
Somebody out there's gonna take this and run with it...
And that would probably even make for a good story if written well. I'd be tempted, but I don't think I could pull it off satisfactorily.
I'm curious to hear what people think.
I didn't have any problems with the previous version, but if you ask me, this is better.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Bad Apple » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:05 am

Leaty wrote:Yes, but The Shallow End was the beginning of Iwanako's stay at Yamaku. So... what's on the other side?
Ah. I see what you did there. That's, well, deep.
Leaty wrote:Image
Aaand cue Cold Iron.

I'm really digging this revision. It really does read more like like someone's dying thoughts. Simply put, her life flashes before her eyes. It does eliminate her previous resignation and replaces it with deep regret, but that makes sense just as well. It might come off as grimdark to some, but she is dying. This swift revision is a winner in my book.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Yay! I learned a new word.
I can always count on this singular thread—and solely this thread—to enlighten me with new arcane words of the boundless English language.
The reason for my apprehension was probably that I've read scenes like that done wrong so often. The OC would just smile winningly at Hanako, and she'd be instantly in love with him. The OC would just magically know the exact words to say to put her at ease, and they'd spend that first meeting in the library talking about their favourite books for hours...
Yeah, I tend to avoid those like the plague. So I've had little exposure to them. Last time I was exposed, Hisao died and the perfect OC stole Hanako's grieving heart effortlessly.
I'm not sure I would call her socializing with Hanako so far "advances" though...
Hey hey now, I didn't mean it that way. But now that you mention it...
"If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires."
— Horace Traubel

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Reese8 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:25 pm

Leaty wrote:I'm curious to hear what people think. Better? Worse? Better, but doesn't do a good job of rectifying the problems present in the original ending?
Hm… Well, it won't send me storming out of the thread or anything, but I think that, despite having good details added at several points (Iwanako's apology to her mother, for instance; even if you decide to set the rest of this proposed new version on fire, I think that the apology ought to be added into the chapter), this lacks a certain elegance that the current version possesses. Then again, I'm not sure how much you edited it before seeking our opinions, so it may be that this is just too early a draft to have that elegance edited in. Though… Hm. Actually, I think that this might be it, or a large part of it: earlier in this thread, I believe that someone mentioned that Iwanako in the current version skips most of the stages of coping? That worked, in my opinion; it showed that she was still primed to shoot straight to "I'm dying? Oh well." Now she clearly does go through the stages, but she goes through them very fast. It feels rushed. I think. Maybe it just needs a bit of smoothing out. There are reason why I usually just stick to pointing out errant commas and the like.
I read through it again, and maybe I'm just tired; this time it looks mostly fine. Maybe just delete "No! WHY? Why is this happening?! God, it really is. It’s really happening…" and change "I don’t even need to be aware, I’m" to "But I don't even need to be aware; I'm"? I could be wrong again, though.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Yay! I learned a new word.
I learned "nacreous"… I think; looking back, I can't seem to find it in the story.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Reese8 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:44 pm

This thread got quiet rather suddenly.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 7/19/2

Post by Leaty » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:33 am

Yeah, it happens. People run out of things to say.

As far as "nacreous" goes, it's a good word, and I love to use it, but Silentcook pointed out that it was discordant with the scene, and I agreed it was better to replace it with a word that wouldn't immediately stop the reader in their tracks.

Sadly, I don't have an ETA on chapter nine. I hope to get it out as soon as possible.

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